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Montgomery School Board Pushes High School Start Times 20 Minutes Later

Montgomery County’s high school students soon will be able to get 20 extra minutes of sleep every weekday morning, after a school board vote Tuesday to shift school hours for students across the district.

Tuesday’s decision followed intense discussion across years, beginning with a parent-driven petition in 2012 to change start times so county teenagers could get more sleep. Advocates cited research that shows teens operate on a sleep cycle in which they naturally want to go to bed later and rise later, and that a lack of sleep can lead to myriad health and academic problems.

But the plan the board adopted in a 5-to-3 vote was not nearly as much of a change as many advocates had wanted, and it came only after a proposal for a more dramatic shift failed with three votes.